Politics

State Rep. Kaniela Ing Runs for Hanabusa’s Seat

First candidate to announce for a solidly Democratic seat

Kaniela Saito Ing (Courtesy Kaniela Saito Ing/Facebook)

Hawaii state Rep. Kaniela Saito Ing announced he will run for the seat Rep. Colleen Hanabusa is vacating as she runs for governor.

Ing, a Democrat, is the first candidate to announce his candidacy for Hanabusa’s seat, according to Maui Now. He has served in Hawaii’s statehouse since 2012 and was first elected when he was 23 years old. 

Despite being only 28, Ing said his age could actually serve as a benefit to the state, saying he is “uniquely positioned as a young person to gain the seniority and influence Hawaii needs.”

During his announcement, Ing cited the late Rep. Mark Takai, who represented the district before dying of cancer.

Ing said that when the Governor made cuts to of the University of Hawaii, Ing wrote to Takai, who met with him.

“He showed me all he accomplished when he was UH student-president, and during his decades in the legislature,” he said. “He inspired me to run. Mark Takai committed 20 years to this position.”

Ing also said while it was important to criticize President Donald Trump, it is not enough in Congress and endorsed a series of liberal policies.

“This means fighting for equal pay, Medicare-for-all, tuition-free college, universal basic income, women’s health, LGBTQ rights, a 100 percent renewable future, worker protections, the legalization of adult-use cannabis, an end to reckless wars abroad, sacred spaces, living wages, criminal justice reform, and a democracy free from big-money corruption,” he said.

Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates Hawaii’s 2nd District race as “Solidly Democratic.”

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